Sunday, January 24, 2010

Three Beautiful Things 01/23/10: Photos at Buford Park, The Hollow Men, Pipe-Knock/Ordnung

1. I need to get over to the Mt. Pisgah/Buford Park area more. Today Russell and I went over there to snap photos -- and on a cloudless, warmish, spring-ish January day like today it was idyllic. I'll post pictures later -- uh, today? this week? Sometime.

2. I transported myself in memory back to 1973 when my love of poetry began which always makes me think of Bruce A. (R.I.P.) and these thoughts were helped along by my chat Friday evening with Jane. Jane and Bruce and I were at North Idaho College and the spring of 1973 was one of the very best times in my life. . . and much of my joy was being shaped by poetry. It was never a school subject for me. I can still hear our recitations "We are the hollow men/We are the stuffed men/Leaning together/Headpiece stuffed with straw.....This is the way the world ends/Not with a bang but a whimper". I'm amazed in the later stages of middle age how really excited emptiness, hollowness, meaninglessness, and the world whimpering to an end made me for so many years when I was younger.

3. One line, and it's an entire stanza itself, opened up for me the way a poem cannot necessarily be discussed in terms of meaning the way, say, the Lend and Lease Act can. It comes from Theodore Roethke's poem "The Lost Son". Here's the line and here's the stanza:


In the spring of 1973 and again in 1974, that one word, that one line, that one stanza helped me see poetry as not being about a message, but about an experience of sound and feeling. Two lines later, two other words helped me with this:

Ordnung! Ordnung!

I was not set completely free, but a liberation was underway.

Going back, today, to those early days of loving poetry made me think of Roethke and those lines.

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